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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Italy / Belgium

Susanna Nicchiarelli is shooting Chiara

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- The biopic about Saint Clare of Assisi, starring Margherita Mazzucco and produced by Vivo Film and Tarantula, concludes the trilogy which began with Nico, 1988 and Miss Marx

Susanna Nicchiarelli is shooting Chiara
Actress Margherita Mazzucco

Margherita Mazzucco (known to the public for her role in the series My Brilliant Friend [+see also:
series review
series profile
]
, based upon Elena Ferrante’s novel of the same name) will lead the cast of Susanna Nicchiarelli’s next film, Chiara, which is now in production. Young Neapolitan actress Andrea Carpenzano (discovered via Boys Cry [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo
film profile
]
and confirmed as a talent by way of The Champion [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Leonardo D’Agostini
film profile
]
) is set to star alongside her.

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The film recounts the life of Saint Clare (Chiara) of Assisi and concludes a wonderful trilogy of female biographies which was initiated in 2017 by way of Nico, 1988 [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Susanna Nicchiarelli
film profile
]
- which won an award at the Venice Film Festival within the Orizzonti line-up - and continued in 2020 in the form of Miss Marx [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Susanna Nicchiarelli
film profile
]
, which was selected for Venice’s official competition. “Our aim is the same as that of Nico and Eleanor Marx: to reveal and explore the real-life person outside of history books”, Susanna Nicchiarelli explained back in July. As per the previous films, “it’s a question of interpretation rather than fabrication, of finding the right key; Trine Dyrholm isn’t like the real Nico and Romola Garai isn’t like Eleanor”.

Clare is the very young noblewoman who imitated Francis of Assisi and embraced poverty. Born in 1194 to the rich and noble Offreducci family, Clare was only 12 years old when Francis of Assisi carried out the gesture of removing all his clothes. Bowled over by Francis’ example, on the evening of Palm Sunday seven years later, in 1211 or 1212, young Clare runs away from home to join him at Porziuncola Church. The Saint cuts her hair and tells her wear a Franciscan habit, before leading her to the Benedictine convent of St. Paul, in Bastia Umbra, where her father tries in vain to persuade her to return home. She subsequently takes refuge in the Church of St. Damian, where she establishes the Women’s Order of “poor nuns” (later called Clarisse) over which she is appointed Abbess and where Francis sets out his first Rule. Clare later writes the definitive Rule, requesting and obtaining the “privilege of poverty” from Gregory IX.

Photography is entrusted to French talent Crystel Fournier, director Céline Sciamma’s go-to cinematographer, while editing is in the hands of Stefano Cravero, who also worked on Miss Marx and Nico, 1988. Set design comes courtesy of Ludovica Ferrario and costumes are by Massimo Cantini Parrini. As per the previous two films, Chiara is co-produced by Italy and Belgium via Marta Donzelli and Gregorio Paonessa on behalf of Vivo Film, alongside RAI Cinema and Tarantula. The film enjoys support from the Italian Ministry of Culture’s Film and Audiovisual Department and from Eurimages (to the tune of 480,000 Euros).

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(Translated from Italian)

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